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An AirAsia flight was diverted after passengers spotted a snake on their plane

An AirAsia flight was diverted Thursday after passengers spotted a snake in an overhead light.
An AirAsia flight was diverted Thursday after passengers spotted a snake in an overhead light.

Passengers on an AirAsia flight had their trip rerouted after spotting an uninvited passenger on the plane.

In a video shared on TikTok by user @edal8808, what appears to be a long snake can be seen slithering through an overhead light fixture. In the caption, the user wrote that the flight, which was headed from the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur to Tawau, had to instead make an emergency landing in Kuching, according to a translation of the text.

AirAsia did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NPR. However, the airline's chief security officer Liong Tien Ling confirmed the incident in a statement to CNN Türk.

"AirAsia is aware of the incident that occurred on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau on Thursday. As soon as the captain was notified, the plane was diverted to Kuching to be disinfected," he said.

He went on to state that neither passengers nor guests were in danger, according to the outlet.

Passengers were able to continue their journey to Tawau that same day, multinational news network CNA reports.

Still, travelers with upcoming flights have no need to worry that their vacations may turn into a real-life version of Snakes on a Plane. In a statement obtained by CNA, Ling noted that what happened on Thursday's place is not a common occurrence.

"This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time," he explained.

The video has been viewed more than 2 million times since being posted on Thursday, and footage of the unexpected discovery has since spread to other social media platforms like Twitter. However, it is unclear if the TikTok user who initially shared the video was the one to record it and they did not respond to a request for comment from NPR.

It's not the first time snakes have found their way onto passenger flights. In 2019, a woman traveling home to Scotland from Australia encountered a nasty surprise when she went to unpack and found a snake curled up in her luggage. There was even an occasion where a pilot had to conduct an emergency landing after finding a snake in the cockpit.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sharon Pruitt-Young